Journey on the Silk Road
A desert explorer, Buddha's secret library, and the unearthing of the world's oldest printed book
By Joyce Morgan and Conrad Walters
"When a Chinese monk broke through a hidden door in 1900, he uncovered one of history's greatest literary secrets: a thousand-year-old time capsule of life along the ancient Silk Road. Inside the chamber on the edge of the Gobi Desert, documents were piled from floor to ceiling. The gem among them was the Diamond Sutra of 868 AD, now recognized as the world's oldest printed book.
The sutra, a key Buddhist teaching, was made nearly 600 years before printing transformed European civilization. The book's journey — by camel through treacherous deserts, by boat to London's curious scholars, by train to evade the bombs of World War II — merges an explorer's adventures, political intrigue and continued controversy.
The words of the Diamond Sutra have inspired Jack Kerouac, Aldous Huxley and the Dalai Lama. Its path from East to West has coincided with the growing appeal of Buddhism in the contemporary world. As the Gutenberg Age cedes to the Google Age, the discovery of the Silk Road's greatest treasure is an epic tale of survival, a literary investigation and an evocation of the traveling power of the book."
I don't accept many offers to read non fiction, but Journeys on the Silk Road fit in with our history studies this year and since I wanted to learn more about the subject was more than happy to accept FSB Associates offer to read and review. The authors are educational without being snooty and entertaining as they take the reader on a adventure. They made the history of archeologist Aurel Stein fascinating as they followed his travels through China, Tibet and more.
Thank you to Leyane at FSB Associates for providing me with a copy of the book.